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The Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has been on trial alongside Anthony Kwaku Boahen, a Communications Officer of the NDC since December 2109.
Ofosu Ampofo is in court for a leaked tape in which he allegedly planned to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Amongst the strategies on the leaked tape are the creation of a general state of insecurity in the country through kidnappings and arson, and verbal attacks on public officials like the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and the Electoral Commission Boss, Jean Mensa.
These are what have transpired since the trial begun
Prior to the setting of the official date of the trial, lawyer for the second accused person Aziz Bamba, moved a motion on notice to strike out a witness statement of one Listowell Fordjour, filed by the State on the 8th of November 2019.
He argued, that, per the practice directives of the Chief Justice on criminal trials, all materials to be disclosed by the Prosecution should be done at least two days before the Case Management Conference (CMC) . He contended that after the CMC, the Prosecution files a witness statement of one Listowell Fordjour in breach of the rules.
“In light of the foregoing the Witness Statement of Listowell Fordjour, filed on the 8th of November 2019, is irregular, inccurably incompetent and same should be struck out and we pray accordingly” lawyer Aziz Bamba said in Court.
Drama on the first day of trial
During the first day of the trial on January 29, this year, the first prosecution witness, Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei, a journalist with Accra-based Adom FM, took the stand at the Accra High Court to testify.
He, however, denied knowledge of a statement that bore his signature and which was crucial to the prosecution’s case.
Even before the statement was presented to him to identify if the signature on it as his, Adjei had testified that the police had brought a statement to him to sign and that he had signed it because he was told it was part of investigations.
After the denial by the witness, the DPP sought to tender the statement into evidence but that was objected to by Mr Lithur and Dr Basit Aziz Bamba, counsel for Boahen.
In his ruling, the trial judge, Justice Samuel Asiedu, agreed with the prosecution and held that so far as the statement contained the signature of the witness, it must be adopted as evidence.
Ofosu Ampofo challenges evidence
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo had filed a case at the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the High Court to accept the statement that was allegedly made by the state’s principal witness.
He subsequently filed an application to halt proceedings at the High Court to allow for the appeal proceedings to end, but the Accra High Court refused the application.
The High Court judge, Justice Samuel Asiedu disagreed with the application saying among other things that if the application was granted, it will unnecessarily delay the ongoing trial.
Adjournment due to mandatory quarantine of witness
The second prosecution witness was expected to testify Wednesday, March 18, 2020 but the prosecution explained that the witness has been quarantined since returning from the United Kingdom (UK).
The mandatory 14-day quarantine for Ghanaians who return from foreign countries is part of measures instituted by the government to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Petitioning the Supreme Court
The legal team of Ofosu Ampofo filed an appeal challenging the decision of the trial judge at the Supreme Court.
However, the case has been subsequently adjourned sine die (indefinitely) to the Attorney General’s Department to enable it to file an affidavit in opposition to the writ.
Appearing before the court yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, urged the court for an extension of time to file their affidavit in opposition.
The panel presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, and assisted by Justices Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Samuel Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher and Mariama Owusu granted the request and ordered the Attorney General to file the affidavit within two weeks.
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